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flyabr
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:52 pm

I always thought that at some point WN would add a few smaller planes to its fleet...ie say some CS100s to bring in feed from smaller markets (FSD,FAR,BIS etc). But then they divested themselves of the 717s, and that pipe dream died!
 
DakotaFlyer
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:29 pm

I know there us a zero percent chance of SWA in North Dakota, but also leaving out Canadian customers who often drive from Winnipeg (pop 800k) to FAR, GFK, or sometimes MSP for cheaper flights.
 
Judge1310
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:52 pm

jplatts wrote:
TWA902fly wrote:
A lot of these cities could really use cheaper fares, but most don't have the volume of traffic that Southwest likes to have. I think I read somewhere that they tend to not open stations that cannot support at least 7 daily flights. Can you see BIL, FSD, FAR, CPR, CYS, etc supporting 7+ daily 737s?


Southwest Airlines did enter some markets in Texas in the 1970's with fewer than 7 daily flights, including AMA, LBB, MAF, ELP, CRP, and HRL. Southwest Airlines also actually entered into a few markets with fewer than 7 daily flights in the 1980's, including ABQ, LAS, LIT, and ONT, and Southwest Airlines actually also entered into JAX and FLL with fewer than 7 daily flights in the 1990's. Southwest has a significantly larger presence at LAS and FLL today than it did when it first started service out of these two airports, and LAS is currently the 3rd largest Southwest Airlines station after MDW and BWI. ABQ, ELP, and ONT are also larger Southwest Airlines stations today than was the case when Southwest started service out of these two airports, with Southwest currently doing 35 daily flights out of ABQ, with Southwest currently doing 21 daily flights out of ELP, and with Southwest currently doing 33 daily flights out of ONT.


Do you get absolutely giddy at incorporating "Southwest" or "Southwest Airlines" in every sentence? I don't know if English is your primary language but the way you write is incredibly distracting and choppy. Here's a pro tip: shorter and clearer sentences, and proper liaisons and referencing (it, they, etc.) will make your posts more easily comprehensible. Not trying to start something, it's just a helpful reminder/tip for English syntax. :)
 
Flighty
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:45 pm

ILNFlyer wrote:
They will when demand and yields justify it.


I thought places like MOT and FAR are definitely high yield. Just not large enough to sustain WN and the legacies together.
 
Breezy786
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:06 am

I know it's not in the aforementioned states but a similar size market like XNA I could see..with DAL, STL, BNA, DEN?
 
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atimp
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:34 am

I grew up in Montana during the 60's and 70's when Northwest, Western and Frontier made milk runs through those states. They rarely had more than 15 - 20 passengers on board at any one given time. NWA made their money on the BIL - ORD and BIL - MSP routes, which probably made up for the empty seats between small airports. Western and Frontier made their money on routes between BIL - SLC and BIL - DEN. NWA also made money on the other end between SEA - PDX abd SEA - GEG. Jet fuel was dirt cheap back then so hitting all of those small airports between large markets looked good on the crew resume's.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:06 am

HPRamper wrote:
einsteinboricua wrote:
Things have changed since then. If anything, the oil boom in ND could make it so that it can support at least one flight. Fargo would be the likely candidate

The oil boom in ND is a shell of what it was in 2013-2014. Back then would have been the time to add service, when the legacies were adding flights to places like MOT and DIK. That being said, while Fargo is by far the largest metro in North Dakota, Billings is actually a much closer market to the oil activity and as such sees more oil-related commerce.

I know it's been largely forgotten but Sioux Falls is easily the largest metro in the MT/WY/ND/SD group. Over 250k which is around a hundred thousand more than Fargo or Billings (which are very similar in size). Also a market dominated by high-priced legacies flying mostly regional jets. Probably the most likely to attract WN (from MDW) but also has an entire catchment area of less than a million people which isn't very attractive. Still, city population isn't always the rule with WN service - they serve some fairly small markets.

Oh I haven't forgotten that Sioux Falls is of greater size than Fargo (or any other metro area in the northern quartet for that matter)...I'm just thinking what would bring people to fly to Sioux Falls in the first place to keep service active? If anything, I think JAC has probably the best chance (even more so than Sioux Falls and Fargo). They can commit to it for one season and see if it's worth to return in the future.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
SkyVoice
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:16 am

Newbiepilot wrote:
Southwest Airlines has a network that still slightly resembles Morris Air from when they did their takeover in the 1990s


Newbie, thank you for jogging my memory. Southwest took over Morris Air in 1994. I was flying quite a bit at the time & I subscribed to the now-defunct Frequent Flyer magazine. I remember reading an article in which someone at Southwest (not Mr. Kelleher) was asked about WN continuing Morris' service to ANC. The reply was, "We just might fly to Alaska". We know now that it was never done, but it was considered.
"Facing a crisis does not not build one's character, it reveals it."

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

- Robert H. Schuller
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:24 am

Another factor that might contribute to SW not flying to places like Rapid City and Fargo is that Allegiant already provides service to those cities to and from Phoenix and Las Vegas.
 
WaywardMemphian
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:51 am

They need to add Jackson Hole, no one wants to fly to SLC and then drive to Jackson.

I will watch how Frontier does with 3x weekly starting in May 2018.
 
sw733
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:51 am

LAX772LR wrote:
sw733 wrote:
Borders are borders - if they don't serve an airport in Vermont, they don't really serve Vermont.

Which is of course a ridiculous conclusion that no airline actually follows in route planning.


Then, as I'll state for a hundredth time, the entire thread is pointless.
 
stapleton
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:56 am

The largests market in the ND, SD, WY, MT region by total passengers (YE July 2017 - BTS) are:
BZN 1,144,000
FSD 1,041,000
BIL 833,000
FAR 802,000
MSO 773,000
JAC. 688,000
WNFlyGuy is probably right, BZN appears to be the most likely market in this region. BZN is the fastest growing airport north of DAL over the past 15 years. While JAC is certainly beautiful, it is by far the smallest of the top 6 markets, partly because of its proximity to SLC.
 
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FA9295
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:15 am

wnflyguy wrote:
KCaviator wrote:
I can see WN serving BZN, JAC, and/or possibly ANC, but that’s it.


JAC is to close to SLC so I wouldn't expect anything.

BZN centrally located in the middle of the state and has a bigger drawl vs the other 2 major cities in Montana.
I would predict 3 flights total 2 DEN and 1 LAS.
Possible seasonal nonstops to LAX and OAK.

ANC I see year round HNL, LAS,DEN and OAK. Possibly seasonal LAX and MDW.

Flyguy


1). I think WN would choose BIL over BZN (and no, passenger traffic [eg. BZN having larger numbers than BIL] isn't the only deciding factor here)...
2). If you're saying that you could see WN run HNL-ANC year-round, you're out of your mind...
 
czbb
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:59 am

If they go anywhere it's likely BLI to serve the (2.5m) Vancouver market. BLI already has 1m+ enplanements /year, and routes to OAK/LAX/LAS/DEN would likely be possible
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:39 pm

1). I think WN would choose BIL over BZN (and no, passenger traffic [eg. BZN having larger numbers than BIL] isn't the only deciding factor here)...


Reason being what?

Enplanement number doesn't lie. While BIL is a bigger metro area, BZN gets tons more tourist traffic. At least seasonally one can easily fill up a 737 to BZN.

Not to mention, geographical-wise, BZN is right between MSO to the west, BIL to the east, and HLN/GTF to the north.

WNFlyGuy is probably right, BZN appears to be the most likely market in this region. BZN is the fastest growing airport north of DAL over the past 15 years. While JAC is certainly beautiful, it is by far the smallest of the top 6 markets, partly because of its proximity to SLC.


The enplanement/passenger number for JAC is not far off from the like of EGE or ASE. The traffic is seasonal, and ultimately, in off season, JAC is serving a metro of maybe 9k people, while the like of BZN is serving a metro of 80k people.
 
MIAFLLPBIFlyer
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:21 pm

Unless WN gets planes smaller than the 737-700 (highly unlikely) I cannot see routes to any of these states working.
 
UA772IAD
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:49 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
QANTAS747-438 wrote:
Years ago, WN brought up the topic. They said that SD, ND, WY, MT all represented at or below 1% of all air traffic in the US, and that they were ok to give up that 1% to focus on bigger things. That was around 2005.

Things have changed since then. If anything, the oil boom in ND could make it so that it can support at least one flight. Fargo would be the likely candidate. Not a daily flight, but maybe 2x (3x) a week? There are plenty of bases from which a Fargo flight could work. STL, MDW, DEN, MKE...

The oil boom in North Dakota is over. And the carriers that service those towns have more than adequate service for the markets.

FA9295 wrote:
Yeah, I totally forgot about JAC, my bad...

JAC is an interesting market. I lived and worked there for a few years. The fares in and out of this airport are very high and the demand is very seasonal. The year-round, local population of JAC and it's neighboring communities is around 9,000. The locals rarely travel during the busy times of year when airlines bring in their increased seasonal frequencies and destinations as the economy is driven by tourism dollars. It's a price sensitive market for locals and well covered by other carriers from most major hubs to fly in tourists with money, and second home owners who live in Wyoming on paper for tax purposes.

SLC is definitely in the cachement area for JAC - its a 5-6 hour drive on mostly flat and fast moving I-15 with only one stretch of mountain passes on State Highways once you get to Idaho Falls (another alternative airport to JAC). Price savings out of SLC v. JAC often justify the inconvenience of the drive, and with it being a large metro area and a DL hub, it is not uncommon for locals and price sensitive travelers to do it this way.

Of course, this isn't to say that WN couldn't make it work, but they certainly aren't going to get the volume that attracts their business model.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:10 pm

evank516 wrote:
jplatts wrote:
MDW is actually within the range of Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737 MAX 7, and Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, and Alaska actually even flies a Boeing 737-800 nonstop between ANC and ORD. Southwest can actually serve MDW nonstop from ANC if it decides to enter Alaska, and Southwest can connect passengers through MDW to most of its destinations east of Chicago if it adds ANC-MDW nonstop service.


Because everyone wants to fly ANC-MDW-LAX.

Dumb comment. I live in ANC and we have terrible options going East.
 
evank516
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:46 pm

32andBelow wrote:
evank516 wrote:
jplatts wrote:
MDW is actually within the range of Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-800, Boeing 737 MAX 7, and Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes, and Alaska actually even flies a Boeing 737-800 nonstop between ANC and ORD. Southwest can actually serve MDW nonstop from ANC if it decides to enter Alaska, and Southwest can connect passengers through MDW to most of its destinations east of Chicago if it adds ANC-MDW nonstop service.


Because everyone wants to fly ANC-MDW-LAX.

Dumb comment. I live in ANC and we have terrible options going East.


The comment was aimed at the poster claiming that ANC-MDW would give access to most of WN's network. While it does, it is definitely not economical to fly to Chicago if you're going to Los Angeles. On the other hand, if you're going to New York, Boston, or Washington, DC it is obviously economical to use MDW.
 
32andBelow
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:01 pm

evank516 wrote:
32andBelow wrote:
evank516 wrote:

Because everyone wants to fly ANC-MDW-LAX.

Dumb comment. I live in ANC and we have terrible options going East.


The comment was aimed at the poster claiming that ANC-MDW would give access to most of WN's network. While it does, it is definitely not economical to fly to Chicago if you're going to Los Angeles. On the other hand, if you're going to New York, Boston, or Washington, DC it is obviously economical to use MDW.

WE already have great connectivity south and a direct flight to LA. WN to DEN or MDW would be a fantastic option against DL and UA.
 
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enilria
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:30 pm

jplatts wrote:
Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

No redeyes, maybe, no people, no people, no people.
 
ctrabs0114
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:34 am

jplatts wrote:
sw733 wrote:
Southwest doesn't operate in any of the seven least populated states...of which yours are five of them (in addition to Vermont and Delaware). I don't think that's a coincidence - aside from Alaska, a lot of the flights in to these states are done with regional jets, which Southwest of course does not have. I assume Southwest has looked at all five of those states, and determined that the market just isn't there for them in their current form.


While Southwest does not serve any airports in the states of Delaware and Vermont, Southwest already does serve southern Vermont through Albany and Southwest already does serve northern Delaware through Philadelphia.


You could also make the argument that WN better serves the southern portions of Delaware out of their "Beast of the East" hub at BWI as opposed to the relatively meager WN offerings at PHL. Wilmington and Newark aren't too long of a train ride to BWI Airport.
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Elementalism
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:50 am

How does the federal subsidies work for these small cities? Do the feds allow for multiple competitors when they subsidy air service?
 
Flighty
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:30 am

UA772IAD wrote:
einsteinboricua wrote:
QANTAS747-438 wrote:
Years ago, WN brought up the topic. They said that SD, ND, WY, MT all represented at or below 1% of all air traffic in the US, and that they were ok to give up that 1% to focus on bigger things. That was around 2005.

Things have changed since then. If anything, the oil boom in ND could make it so that it can support at least one flight. Fargo would be the likely candidate. Not a daily flight, but maybe 2x (3x) a week? There are plenty of bases from which a Fargo flight could work. STL, MDW, DEN, MKE...

The oil boom in North Dakota is over. And the carriers that service those towns have more than adequate service for the markets.

FA9295 wrote:
Yeah, I totally forgot about JAC, my bad...

JAC is an interesting market. I lived and worked there for a few years. The fares in and out of this airport are very high and the demand is very seasonal. The year-round, local population of JAC and it's neighboring communities is around 9,000. The locals rarely travel during the busy times of year when airlines bring in their increased seasonal frequencies and destinations as the economy is driven by tourism dollars. It's a price sensitive market for locals and well covered by other carriers from most major hubs to fly in tourists with money, and second home owners who live in Wyoming on paper for tax purposes.

SLC is definitely in the cachement area for JAC - its a 5-6 hour drive on mostly flat and fast moving I-15 with only one stretch of mountain passes on State Highways once you get to Idaho Falls (another alternative airport to JAC). Price savings out of SLC v. JAC often justify the inconvenience of the drive, and with it being a large metro area and a DL hub, it is not uncommon for locals and price sensitive travelers to do it this way.

Of course, this isn't to say that WN couldn't make it work, but they certainly aren't going to get the volume that attracts their business model.


Interesting post. I agree JAC is interesting, it's the only destination in these states for the "jet set" plus maybe Bozeman.

But, North Dakota AFAIK has the nation's highest disposable income. The people there, on average, have the most cash to travel of anybody in the USA. Maybe Connecticut and Washington DC beats them on raw income, but cost of living in North Dakota is lower. So it's not a nothing market. California is a more extreme example. Their incomes are okay, but after taxes and housing costs, people in California are relatively poor - on average.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:17 am

Flighty wrote:
UA772IAD wrote:
einsteinboricua wrote:
Things have changed since then. If anything, the oil boom in ND could make it so that it can support at least one flight. Fargo would be the likely candidate. Not a daily flight, but maybe 2x (3x) a week? There are plenty of bases from which a Fargo flight could work. STL, MDW, DEN, MKE...

The oil boom in North Dakota is over. And the carriers that service those towns have more than adequate service for the markets.

FA9295 wrote:
Yeah, I totally forgot about JAC, my bad...

JAC is an interesting market. I lived and worked there for a few years. The fares in and out of this airport are very high and the demand is very seasonal. The year-round, local population of JAC and it's neighboring communities is around 9,000. The locals rarely travel during the busy times of year when airlines bring in their increased seasonal frequencies and destinations as the economy is driven by tourism dollars. It's a price sensitive market for locals and well covered by other carriers from most major hubs to fly in tourists with money, and second home owners who live in Wyoming on paper for tax purposes.

SLC is definitely in the cachement area for JAC - its a 5-6 hour drive on mostly flat and fast moving I-15 with only one stretch of mountain passes on State Highways once you get to Idaho Falls (another alternative airport to JAC). Price savings out of SLC v. JAC often justify the inconvenience of the drive, and with it being a large metro area and a DL hub, it is not uncommon for locals and price sensitive travelers to do it this way.

Of course, this isn't to say that WN couldn't make it work, but they certainly aren't going to get the volume that attracts their business model.


Interesting post. I agree JAC is interesting, it's the only destination in these states for the "jet set" plus maybe Bozeman.

But, North Dakota AFAIK has the nation's highest disposable income. The people there, on average, have the most cash to travel of anybody in the USA. Maybe Connecticut and Washington DC beats them on raw income, but cost of living in North Dakota is lower. So it's not a nothing market. California is a more extreme example. Their incomes are okay, but after taxes and housing costs, people in California are relatively poor - on average.


Well, if people in ND has so much cash to travel, then there is no need for a "cheap" carrier like WN to enter the market. I mean, they can certainly afford paying premium price for a legacy carrier. :stirthepot:

Elementalism wrote:
How does the federal subsidies work for these small cities? Do the feds allow for multiple competitors when they subsidy air service?


Which cities specially are you referring to? None of the busier airports in those state get any federal subsidies afaik.
 
Janj
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:48 am

jplatts wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:
Greensboro, NC is actually only 1 hour away from RDU, which is served by Southwest Airlines, and Lexington, NC (which is in the southern portion of the Piedmont Triad between Winston-Salem and Charlotte) is within a hour and 15 minute drive from CLT, which is served by Southwest Airlines.


Greenville, SC is about 1.5 hours from Charlotte, yet Southwest still serves it (for different historical reasons yes, but they haven't axed it completely). GSO serves other cities in the area that are about the same distance from either CLT or RDU, and it's not that much smaller than GSP.
 
DLASFlyer
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:10 am

ridgid727 wrote:

I would imagine they could pull some pretty could loads at JAC in Wyoming.


As noted above, Frontier is coming back next summer meaning AA, DL, F9, UA will all be mainline.
 
WN732
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Re: Will Southwest Airlines ever expand into Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wyoming?

Thu Dec 21, 2017 6:06 am

jplatts wrote:
TWA902fly wrote:
A lot of these cities could really use cheaper fares, but most don't have the volume of traffic that Southwest likes to have. I think I read somewhere that they tend to not open stations that cannot support at least 7 daily flights. Can you see BIL, FSD, FAR, CPR, CYS, etc supporting 7+ daily 737s?


Southwest Airlines did enter some markets in Texas in the 1970's with fewer than 7 daily flights, including AMA, LBB, MAF, ELP, CRP, and HRL. Southwest Airlines also actually entered into a few markets with fewer than 7 daily flights in the 1980's, including ABQ, LAS, LIT, and ONT, and Southwest Airlines actually also entered into JAX and FLL with fewer than 7 daily flights in the 1990's. Southwest has a significantly larger presence at LAS and FLL today than it did when it first started service out of these two airports, and LAS is currently the 3rd largest Southwest Airlines station after MDW and BWI. ABQ, ELP, and ONT are also larger Southwest Airlines stations today than was the case when Southwest started service out of these two airports, with Southwest currently doing 35 daily flights out of ABQ, with Southwest currently doing 21 daily flights out of ELP, and with Southwest currently doing 33 daily flights out of ONT.


If I recall ELP peaked at about twice as many flights as they have today.

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